Normal to have so many 404's?

aharown07's picture

They have: 43 posts

Joined: Oct 2008

I'm webmaster for my first ever website... at it for about a year. When I acquired the site it was a hybrid Wordpress + vBulletin. Long story, but decided to go to Drupal (don't regret that).

But now when I look at the logs, I see vast numbers of 404's. Most of them are pointing to files that used to exist on the site.. search.php, forums.php, forumdisplay.php. Others I'm not sure if we used to have or not: member.php, profile.php.

So my questions are a) is it normal to ahve dozens of 404's on "search.php" every hour, for example? And b) is there anything I should do about them?

Is there a way to make redirect to the correct url,
How about rss.php... is there a way I could make it point to one of our valid rss urls?

Megan's picture

She has: 11,421 posts

Joined: Jun 1999

I think member.php and profile.php are vBulletin files.

A lot of 404's on search.php is weird - don't know why that would be happening.

Are you signed up for Google Webmaster Tools? If you go in there I think they show you where those 404's are coming from (who is linking to those pages).

Also research 301 redirects - that will let you point your old URLs to new ones. I'll try to find out what we did here when we moved from vBulletin to Drupal.

aharown07's picture

They have: 43 posts

Joined: Oct 2008

Thanks for the info. I do have Webmaster Tools, just haven't learned to use a whole lot of it yet. I'll look around.

aharown07's picture

They have: 43 posts

Joined: Oct 2008

Have some more info now. Quite a few of the 404's on "search.php" are coming from google crawler.
So I wonder why they would do that? I think I even added search.php on the "don't" part of robots.txt.

Here's a hunch: could it have something to do with the fact that we signed up with Google Analytics back when we were Wordpress+vBulletin and kept the same account when we moved to Drupal? Just guessing.
Also saw google crawler 404's on, which is curious because /001 is where I had my development site for several months (it no longer exists).

They have: 25 posts

Joined: Sep 2009

404s are bad when links are pointing to the pages that don't exist.

PHPonly's picture

They have: 13 posts

Joined: Apr 2009

It is better to have a simple customer error page for every error and not many for one single error. Search engines prefer default error pages instead of customized pages.

aharown07's picture

They have: 43 posts

Joined: Oct 2008

By "customized" you mean pages generated dynamically based on what the url was? opposed to a single "customized" page? Just want to be clear. What I do now is have one default page... but it's a customized page. Doesn't have any dynamic content though.

They have: 20 posts

Joined: Oct 2009

Search bots are bad about perpetually hitting 404s...they never want to give up on the change of that URL coming back up on the site. Google Bot seems to do this very frequently with one of my sites.

Michael James Swan's picture

He has: 400 posts

Joined: May 2008

I believe that you can create a well worded 404 Page so when the Search Engine does hit that page; then it has something to read about your site instead of the standard 404 error message that Wordpress or VB may Display.

They have: 15 posts

Joined: Oct 2011

404 error??? Is that 404 error???

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